Minsk may allow Russian military bases on its territory in response to the policy of some Western countries aimed at the violent change of power in Belarus. Minsk spots over 30 NATO reconnaissance flights near the Belarusian border every week. We know what NATO means by its operations for crisis settlement. We know many cases when US troops and their NATO allies have entered flourishing countries and virtually turned them into a desert, inflicting irreparable damage on them.
This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media, claiming that NATO is an aggressive bloc, whose aim is to wreak havoc wherever it appears, and that it is particularly eager to occupy Belarus. No evidence provided to back the claims.
In reality, NATO is both a political and a military alliance. It promotes democratic values and enables its members to consult and cooperate on defence and security issues to solve problems, build trust and prevent conflict. As for Belarus, where mass protests broke out last August, NATO does not intend to send its troops there. Belarus’ self-proclaimed leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka has been ever since accusing NATO of building up its military at the western border and mounting pressure in order to destabilise the situation. NATO rejected these claims, although the Alliance is closely monitoring the situation in Belarus. Its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that fundamental freedoms must be respected, including freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest.
Lukashenka has been ruling Belarus since 1994. He announced himself the winner of the 2020 presidential election with more than 80 per cent of support and was secretly inaugurated. However, many cases of fraud were recorded, so people took to the streets protesting against what was widely believed to be an unfair election. The European Union did not recognise Lukashenka as president either. He used brutal force to clamp down on the protests. He later also claimed that Western nations were instigating a revolt to overthrow him and kill his children. Several opposition-minded Belarusian intellectuals were arrested and accused of staging a coup. Lukashenka said the United States were standing behind the thwarted coup attempt, but Washington later denied these allegations.
Read more disinformation narratives about the West’s alleged attempts to remove Lukashenko by force.